Inspiration

Microscopic bits of plastics from our clothing—such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon—are poisoning our oceans, our ecosystems, and our food chains. Every time we run our washing machines, hundreds of thousands of microfibers enter our waterways. Many of them land up on beaches and in oceans, where they can stay for hundreds of years. When swallowed by fish and other marine life, microplastic makes its way up the food chain and ends up on our plates.

What it does

Fast, cheap fashion is one of the the world’s most polluting industries, both in terms of its carbon-intensive production and the non-biodegradable waste that it leaves behind. Clothes Minded, made in Android Studio, offers a simple solution: it combats microfiber pollution by educating users on the impact of their clothing on the environment and what they can do to limit it. Furthermore, it helps users increase the usable lifespan of their clothing by facilitating online clothing exchanges within their local communities.

Step One: Upload your clothes to your virtual closet. Got any items that you rarely wear? List them as items you’d be willing to share with your friends! We’ll keep track of how much of your closet is biodegradable, so that you can reach your zero-waste goals.

Step Two: Plan your outfit for today or a future date. You’ll have not only your own clothes to choose from, but also your friends’ “sharable” clothes, so you’ll always have something new to wear, and you’ll save money, too.

Step Three: You can borrow an article of clothing from a friend by browsing their closets and reaching out to them in-app. The cost of shipping, as well as a small safety deposit, is to be paid for by the borrower. You have done a small, good deed for yourself and for the planet—hooray!

How I built it

It started off with an innovative solution to a pressing issue. From there, we fine-tuned the most important features, drafted a sound architectural design, divided the required tasks among us based on our strengths, and pushed ourselves to ask a lot of questions and learn as much as possible. As it was challenging to implement our vision within the time constraints of the hackathon, we created a prototype design for the final product, which we have used to execute our vision and better understand the user experience.

Challenges I ran into

Technically, it was difficult for us to familiarize ourselves with the Android Studio IDE, the Android libraries, and Git. Conceptually, we struggled ensure that the users would be able to trust each other and feel comfortable sharing their clothes with each other on the platform.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud of how far we have come as newcomers who had not met each other before the hackathon. None of us had used Android Studio before, so learning this new technology is and accomplishment. We are all proficient in different fields, and we used this to our advantage while collaborating.

What I learned

We learned how to think unconventionally about reducing waste, about Android programming basics, and about effective communication between team members.

What's next for Clothes Minded

Implement all of the functionalities and provide more of a thorough clothing analysis. Provide users with further suggestions on what to purchase, and possibly connect some eco-friendly clothing companies with the users.

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